This is the post I wrote about old cars being found in even older barns, for the Ontario Barn Preservation newsletter, January 2023.
Cars in Barns Are “Barn Finds”
I like to photograph old buildings, farm houses and barns included. I’ve met a lot of people who also have an interest in old places. Not everyone is about photographing them. Some will salvage, some will vandalize. As a general rule I choose not to do either. But, there have been times I saved plants from a garden at a house long abandoned. Once, I brought back a green Pyrex mixing bowl which I found way out in the field as I was walking back after photographing an abandoned farm house. Sadly, that house has been demolished now, but I still use the mixing bowl. I have never vandalized, or left garbage around. Take only photographs, leave only footprints.
There are people who especially look for cars, vehicles other than farm machines, in old barns. Some of them just want to see the old cars, some want to try buying them from whoever still owns the barn and cars, and others wreck them. They call them barn finds.
It would be nice to know the story behind all these cars left, neglected and abandoned. I did find that it was someone who won the lottery and bought a lot of cars. Then went bankrupt. But, why not sell the cars rather than go bankrupt, or just leaving them all there? It seems there must be more to the story.
Most of the videos about barn finds don’t include a story, or give away the location. At least I hope they avoid letting others know where they found them. It’s not just about trespassing but respect for whoever owns the property and everything in/ on it. Even the vehicles themselves. Dust and animals will happen, no one should deliberately cause harm, to vandalize.
If you’re interested in cars, especially old cars, you can find a lot online about barn finds. I’ve seen people posting photographs and videos from Canada, the US, Europe and Asia. You may have a car or two in your own barn. I guess some people intend to fix them up and sell them, or showcase them. At some point, when its covered in a thick layer of dust and animals tracks… it might be time to find a buyer for it, as is. Let someone else treasure it and (hopefully) have the time, energy, and resources to get it on the road again.
I have a problem with keeping books, thinking I will make use of all that information… some day. I do understand hanging onto things, cars, books, or any of thousands of other things we value.